Book Review

Radicalize Your Hope!

Carolina De Robertis sat at her desk, overwhelmed by grief. President-elect Trump’s “victory” was only three days old. The probable ramifications of this dolorous event on all the hard-won civil rights gains of the past fifty years racked Carolina’s mind. She thought about the many communities of immigrants, people of color, gay and transgender people,

Amy S. Peele Launches Cut with Sharp Humor

Book Passage in Marin County’s Corte Madera was the site for Amy S. Peele’s comic and compassionate introduction of her debut novel, Cut, to a crowd of nearly one hundred people last month. Standing-room-only is rare at any book launch, but Peele’s was marked by eager cheers, a rousing introduction by author Betsy Graziani Fasbinder,

Professors, Perfidy, and Poison in a Pig Pen

The tall and gracious Professor Emerita, Judith L. Newton, held the book launch celebration for her debut novel one recent evening at Books Inc. in Berkeley. The star of the evening was Oink, A Food for Thought Mystery (She Writes Press), the first in a series showcasing the protagonist Emily Addams, a foodie professor of

Book Review: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend is the first of four novels in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Series. In it the childhood, adolescence, and close friendship of two girls, Lila Cerullo, and the story’s narrator, Lenuccia (or “Lenù”) Greco, unfolds. It is Naples, Italy during the 1950s. Highly intelligent and struggling to break out of the grinding poverty and

June 12th, 2016|Book Review|

Book Review: Things Unsaid by Diana Y. Paul (She Writes Press 2015)

Painting by Laurel Derry Brandstetter, 2008 This wry, wise novel about coming to terms with conflicting family obligations in middle age also addresses the roles that pain and loss can play in awakening people, and in healing dysfunctional family patterns. Told in the third person, the protagonist is Jules, the oldest of three offspring of

May 17th, 2016|Book Review|

Bastard Out of Carolina

I had a plan in mind for today, but then I was kicked in the head by a very wise person and my whole day was derailed. She is Dorothy Allison and the kick came from her powerful novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992. This great book

October 22nd, 2015|Book Review|